Elastin and collagen degradation products in urine of smokers with and without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1995 Apr;151(4):952-9. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.151.4.7697272.


It has been hypothesized that emphysema results from damage to the elastic fiber network of the lungs as a result of elastase-antielastase imbalance. We used a new assay for urinary desmosine (DES) and isodesmosine (IDES), specific markers for the degradation of mature crosslinked elastin, and hydroxylysylpyridinoline (HP) and lysylpyridinoline (LP), specific markers for the degradation of mature crosslinked collagen, in order to examine elastin and collagen degradation in relation to current cigarette smoking and the presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The study sample consisted of 22 never-smokers (NSM group), 13 current smokers without airflow obstruction (SM group), and 21 patients with COPD (COPD group), including both current and former smokers. The relation between the creatinine-height index and FEV1 was used to correct for possible loss of muscle mass and decreased excretion of creatinine in the COPD group. Mean urinary excretion of elastin-derived crosslinks in the COPD group (DES, 11.8 +/- 5.1 [mean +/- SD]; IDES, 11.3 +/- 5.0 micrograms/g creatinine) and in the SM group (DES, 11.0 +/- 4.2; IDES, 10.2 +/- 2.5 micrograms/g creatinine) was significantly higher than in the NSM group (DES, 7.5 +/- 1.4; IDES, 6.9 +/- 1.3 micrograms/g creatinine). In multivariate analysis, current smoking and the presence of COPD were significantly and independently associated with higher urinary excretion of elastin degradation products, and there was no significant interaction between current smoking and the presence of COPD.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acids / urine
  • Biomarkers
  • Collagen / urine*
  • Desmosine / urine
  • Elastin / urine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isodesmosine / urine
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / urine*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smoking / urine*


  • Amino Acids
  • Biomarkers
  • Desmosine
  • pyridinoline
  • deoxypyridinoline
  • Collagen
  • Elastin
  • Isodesmosine